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Tips On Topsoil

Posted by PRO Aggregate Team on

Tips On Topsoil

Topsoil, Blended Soils, Screened Soil, Dirt, and Fill Dirt,... What is the difference?  Well there could be a big difference depending on what you plan to do with some dirt. It is worth reading these few bullet points before making your decision on soil.  

  • Planting Grass? The first thing to be clear on is that no soil will be free of rocks. Rocks and dirt go together, so be prepared to do a little raking and screening yourself if you want rock free garden or grass soil. But you can start with the best blended soils to make it easier.  A blended soil will have a mix of compost and screened soil. The compost will add essential nutrients to the soil and help with moisture retention. PRO Aggregate offers several options of blended soils for you to choose from.
  • What is used for Gardens and Raised Beds?  Garden Blend soil is recommended for this. We have taken the first step in removing unwanted roots, rocks, dirt clumps, and other debris from the soil. However gardeners will want to further work the soil to further clear any remaining rocks and dirt clumps. Even Screened Soils will inevitable form clumps after a winter of wet weather. Gardening is also about nurturing and caring for your soil, as well as your plants. We take the first steps in preparing good soil. The final preparation steps happen with you, after we deliver.
  • What is Topsoil and Screened Soil?  Technically topsoil is the top layer of soil. But the term is used to describe a variety of materials that may not have originated as topsoil. Screening is a process used to create topsoil materials. Just as it sounds, a screen is used by way of machinery to move soil with conveyer belts over a screen with designated size holes whereby the material larger than the hole passes on the belt to a separate pile and the smaller product passes through the screen to create a pile of screened soil. This is a machining process and sometimes larger material falls of the belt in to the pile of screened material and this is why sometimes you will get larger rock in screened soil.  
  • What is Fill Dirt used for?  Unscreened Topsoil and Fill Dirt are materials used for filling holes and also building up an area in a landscape, leveling, or wall support. These materials would then have a better soil covering them if planting grass or trees etc., were to be part of the landscape. 
  • Where does the dirt come from? PRO Aggregate receives materials from construction and excavation sites such as pool digs, basements, commercial development etc. We take these materials and recycle them into usable products. We maintain standards on the materials we take in to avoid any type of contaminated product. So often the topsoil is recycled deep dirt that has been untouched for long periods of time.  
  • Soil vs Dirt. Soil has a high level of organic materials. Whether this happens naturally over seasons with leaves and other organic material decomposing into the top layer of soil over time, or whether it has been a process of blending screened soils with organic compost. Soil is a healthy growth medium for plants, while dirt is what you see in areas without plant life, or what you don't see layers down under the earth.
  • Why is there sometimes debris in the material? Occasionally some type of debris may not be sifted out of the soil materials. This is generally from the construction site the material was received from and not from our PRO Aggregate facility. We do our best to provide the best materials, but with thousands of tons being processed once in a while debris gets lost in the piles.

Depending on your project and your land you will need to make an educated choice when purchasing soils or dirt. Keep in mind also that sand is sometimes added to dense clay soil to help with quicker drainage, and clay soil may be desirable to mix with a local soil that is too sandy and doesn't hold moisture. But no matter sandy or clay soil, be sure you mix in a nutrient dense compost or blended soil for plant life.

Soil Product Images

Raking Rocks From Blended Soil

Grade C Screened Soil- Occasional Debris in material

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